is 125 surefire, imaginative recipes that take the food you're familiar with and add a little adventure-something new, fresh, or intriguing. But you
don't need to live in New York to cook this way. Developed for the home kitchen, these recipes build on staple ingredients that are available in supermarkets nationwide and teach simple techniques that anyone can master.
Bryan Calvert is a pioneering chef who helped give Brooklyn its red-hot reputation at the center of American food. In 2008, after a career in fine dining, he opened the restaurant James in a former bodega in Prospect Heights. Untethered by high rents and demanding investors, he relished in the urban and rustic
pleasures that Brooklyn offered in contrast to Manhattan. His personal and hands-on style quickly established James' reputation as a cherished neighborhood restaurant.
Then, three months after James opened, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and business began to suffer along with the economy. Like many other small business owners, Bryan had to reevaluate his work in order to survive. What if he used a less expensive cut of meat? Did that dish need two sauces? Was he showcasing an ingredient or obscuring it?
When Bryan realized that the guests at James were gravitating away from the elaborate dishes and towards the thoughtful but uncomplicated food that could be enjoyed frequently, he had a breakthrough. His entire strategy shifted from what he should add to the plate to what he could take off.
Simpler food means less time, fewer ingredients, and lower costs. A shift to more rustic cooking connects us to the natural world and provides a break from the hectic
pace of life. The
approach was born-a diverse but definitive style. Meanwhile, other cooks and craftspeople made a similar return to simplicity in the neighborhoods around James, as handmade products ranging from pickles to clothing emerged from independent entrepreneurs. Brooklyn became a symbol for a new way of living, one that emphasizes sustainable, authentic choices we make as producers and consumers.
What we eat, where we shop, and how we cook are daily experiences that define who we are and express what we believe. For Bryan, it all starts with food. Being guided by ingredients and craftsmanship allows us to experience wonder at our surroundings-whatever and wherever they might be.
BROOKLYN RUSTIC is food at its most elemental and delicious, infusing fresh flavor
and a spark of inspiration into familiar dishes like:
Melted Romaine Lettuce
Heirloom Tomatoes with Gin, Feta, and Dill
Chilled Watermelon and Lemon Verbena Soup
Stuffed Skillet Chicken with Lemon-Miso Sauce
Stove-Smoked Scallops and Mussels with Pasta
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Sea Salt and Caramelized Apples
Alongside these recipes, Bryan's essays teach how to shop thoughtfully, take a minute to finish a dish, and plate food for Instagram success.
BROOKLYN RUSTIC shows how the simplest tricks can make the difference between an average meal and a great one.
BRYAN CALVERT opened James restaurant in 2008 on a residential corner of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, after cooking for years in fine restaurants. His food quickly became synonymous with new Brooklyn dining. Calvert is also a co-founder of Cecil & Merl, a national brand of artisanal home and kitchen goods.
BROOKLYN RUSTIC: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates
By Bryan Calvert
On-sale: June 7, 2016
$30.00; 304 pages; More than 125 Color Photographs